Updated 08/09/2012 05:13 PM
Entrepreneurs flock to Greensboro coliseum for Market America convention
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GREENSBORO — The concept started in the garage of a Greensboro home in 1992.
The Internet marketing company Market America now boasts more than 3 million customers and a huge network of consultants and business owners worldwide. The company's annual international convention got under way, Thursday, at the Greensboro Coliseum and is expected to draw more than 20,000 people. Market America calls them UnFranchise entrepreneurs who are aiming to realize their dreams and harness the world of e-commerce.
"We teach them how to build a successful business, building customers,” said chief operating officer Marc Ashley. “We put them in an Internet business where they sell all these 40 million products to other consumers and they earn based upon the sales they generate on their site."
Besides these aspiring business owners, Market America sells its own line of products ranging from nutrition, home and garden to personal care products. It employs about 600 people in seven countries including Canada, Taiwan and Australia and plans call for more international growth.
"We're developing an emerging market program,” said Ashley. "We're building a global shop.com website where consumers in all 150 countries all over the world could actually buy our products and we'll deliver it directly to them."
Market America has been riding the crest of the e-commerce wave for more than a decade and continues to look at how it can improve the shopping and business experience.
"The next big thing for us is this idea of social commerce and leveraging devices, your phone, your iPad. This idea that the consumer and the shopping experience and the shop consultant whose working with them are really tightly coupled together and providing exactly what the customer is looking for," said director of Internet services and training Jeremy Fennema.
Earlier this year, Market America launched operations in Mexico and the United Kingdom. The four-day convention concludes Sunday.